Tuesday November 28, 2023 at 12:00am
If you’ve had any involvement with the ACU you’ll be familiar with the Hanks name. The connection started in the 1950s with Fred, and continues with Roy, who is currently chair of the Benevolent Fund. The family is best known for its racing exploits however and as part of the ‘Birmingham Mafia’ there could be as many as four trademark black and orange Hanks sidecar outfits on the track during the 1960s. British titles and TT wins were the result, with Roy getting one of each, racing alongside four generations of the family, between 1960 and 2016.
With wife Rose - the first woman to stand on the TT podium – Roy ran the TT Supporters Club and was the public face of Fred Hanks Motorcycles. The Hanks family also produced the TT Special newspaper, getting three editions out during each TT, at the same time as they raced. The dynasty continues with granddaughter Jamie – she currently races as part of Faye Ho’s FHO BSB squad – and the story is all covered with Roy’s trademark wit and humour in his new biography, Hanks: On my knees. As such, if you’re looking for some Christmas reading, its 300 hardback pages are available for £20 (plus P&P) direct from WIDELINE books, online at www.wideline.co.uk or over the phone on 07966575182